May 2016 Progress: What am I up to?

It’s already June and we are halfway into 2016. Time flies so fast. New Years Eve feel like yesterday. The month of May was the most exciting so far this year. Lots of things happened beyond my expectation.

CRADLE


First thing is Cradle Fund. I applied for the CIP Catalyst for my startup Fuudy.

Fuudy is an online search platform that make it easy for you to find halal restaurant anywhere anytime. You can check it here.
You can checkout Fuudy here

I flew to KL to attend their pitching session. This was my first time pitching to a VC. I am nervous and excited at the same time. There were about 30 people pitching that day.

Before entering the shark tank

When it came to my turn, there were 3 panels in front of me. I did my whole session including Q&A in less than 15 minutes. It was fast. They only ask me 2 questions. I think I did okay. The results came 1 week later when I got this email. Basically, they were saying “Your idea was rejected” but in a proper way.

Rejection email from Cradle :(

I failed. A bit disappointed. But then, I got a call after that. I was selected for the Semifinal Pitching of SUPERB. I was given another chance.

SUPERB

SUPERB RM500,000 GRANT COMPETITION

I pitched the same idea which is Fuudy. This time it was better because they provide 3 days pitching bootcamp to grill and refine our pitch. I was grilled by the coaches in those 3 days. I completely change my pitch deck. The feedback from the coaches was very insightful. My problem statement change, my target market change, everything changed.

Some of the entrepreneurs I met. I am on the most right.

Apart from that, I get to network with other budding entrepreneurs. There were 60 of us and each of them have cool and variety of business ideas not just limited to tech startup. I got to meet and learn from people outside of my industry. It broaden my horizon on entrepreneurship.

I look nervous before entering the Shark Tank.

Came the pitching day and I am prepared to enter the Shark Tank. My pitch deck is refined, everything is better compared to when I pitched to Cradle. I did my pitch and during the Q&A session I stumbled a little bit. I couldn’t answer the panels questions properly. I was blank at that time, I knew the answer but I couldn’t convey it clearly.


I didn’t make it to the Final. Disappointed. But life must go on.


Then, I got a call. I was invited to attend an interview session for a CEO position I applied few months back. I was excited. At least this lighten me up a little bit.


ADECCO

A few months ago, I saw this ad that Adecco was looking for a young CEO to lead them for 1 month. I applied and got the interview. The interview session was tough. I was interviewed by 3 panels in 3 separate sessions; starting from their Branch Manager to Associate Director and finally their CEO aka Country Manager in Malaysia. The sessions get tougher as it goes by. Each sessions last about 1 hour. Imagine, the whole sessions last for more than 3 hours. It was like an interrogation session. They were asking hard questions from personal life to business decisions. It is not that easy to become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I still haven’t got the result yet. You can check my twitter or facebook to get the update about the result.

WHAT DID I LEARN???

So after all of these back-to-back crazy events, what did I learn?

Cradle

  • Investors wanted to know what you are going to do with their money. You have to do your due diligence before pitching your idea.
  • Your problem must be clear and painful enough and target market must be focus and well-defined. Always start with a small, well-defined target market. I think I failed because my target market was too big and unrealistic.
  • Be realistic.
  • The flow of your presentation must be connected to each other. My presentation was not focused. I was jumping around the bushes. I started by telling the worldwide problem and then proposed a solution to start in Malaysia which the problem is not that prevalent.

Superb

  • Be realistic. Entrepreneurs often have this idea to change the world. With limited funding and resources, you cannot solve a problem of a large market. Always start small but dream big. Expand your target market over time.
  • Be prepared for Q&A. Keep a list of possible Q&A. Memorized it.
  • Practice, practice, practice your pitch in front of other people > Get feedback > learn > repeat.
  • Judges are often people not within your industry. So basically, they don’t know anything. You have to convince them using layman term.
  • Always have enough rest before your pitch day.

Adecco

  • Your story is your greatest asset. Everyone have different life story. That’s what makes you unique. I was able to face and answer all the panel questions confidently by purely using my life experience. People want to know your story. Start crafting your story now.
  • Confidence is the key. To talk with people with higher positions such as CEO, you must have confidence. How I built my confidence? Through years of practice. Go out of your comfort zone. Do public speaking. Start talking to strangers. Call somebody instead of texting them (this really works). Emulate successful people > copy their body language, their choice of words & how they present themselves.

ALL IN ALL …

It was a crazy month of May. A lot of unexpected things happen. Everything have thought me to become a better person. So what’s next. For the next 6 months these are my goals:

  • Ditch all my startup ideas.
  • Build a small and simple business that makes $2,000 monthly profit within the next 6 months.
  • Learn growth hacking.

P.S. Interested to know why I ditch all my startup ideas? Send me an email at azlan9190@gmail.com. Or add me on social media:

Twitter: bit.ly/twt-azlan

Facebook: bit.ly/fb-azlan

Instagram: bit.ly/ig-azlan

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